If there is one person in the Tri-Cities not looking forward to the opening of the Evergreen Line, it is David Dowdell.
While the Coquitlam resident is a strong advocate for public transit and happy to see the municipality finally connect to the region’s rapid transit system, he worries the convenience of SkyTrain could put an end to his days cycling to work.
“It is going to kill me,” he jokes. “It will be way too easy. I think I will probably end up being a weekend rider after that and I’ll probably gain 50 lb.”
Until then, however, Dowdell will continue his 52-km round-trip cycling commute, which starts at his home near Pipeline Road and Robson Drive and ends at Vancouver’s Broadway Tech Centre near Renfrew Street and East Broadway. The 54-year-old has been doing the ride at least twice a week since he moved to Coquitlam 20 years ago, starting in mid-February and going through the summer until the weather starts to get rainy again.
There are numerous reasons he enjoys the daily ride.
He owns a car but said cycling to work is cheaper than driving and he feels good knowing that he is not burning fossil fuels during his commute. And it is also a way to work exercise into his daily routine.
“There are a lot of health benefits,” he told The Tri-City News. “Because of the distance I ride, there is a sense of accomplishment. It is similar to what people get at the gym.”
Dowdell is heavily involved in the cycling world and is a member of the Tri-Cities and B.C. Cycling Coalitions. He said he supports Bike To Work Week and believes it gets more people who may be thinking about commuting on a bike to give it a try.
Safety is a reason Dowdell often hears as to why more people don’t cycle to work but he added that a lack of shower facilities in the workplace is also a barrier.
“That makes a big difference,” he said. “You need to be able to get into work and have a shower and change into proper clothes.”
Dowdell is fortunate. He said many people in his office ride to work and there are places to store bikes and clean up before the riders start their day.
He added that he hopes that with more people getting on the road and participating in events like Bike To Work Week, more employers will offer shower facilities. Dowdell also said more dedicated bike lanes will improve safety and pave the way for more cyclists to ride to work.
BIKE TO WORK WEEK DETAILS
Bike To Work Week is kicking off across the Lower Mainland between May 30 and June 5 and Tri-City riders are encouraged to take part. Those who register with HUB (www.bikehub.ca), the bicycle advocacy group organizing the event, are eligible to win a trip for two to Amsterdam. There will also be commuter stations across the Tri-Cities, including:
• Guildford Way and Lansdowne Drive in Coquitlam on Monday, May 30 between 6:30 and 9 a.m.
• Ioco Road and Murray Street in Port Moody on Tuesday, May 31, between 6:30 and 9 a.m.
• Foster Avenue and Poirier Street in Coquitlam on Wednesday, June 1, between 3:30 and 6 p.m.
The commuter stations will offer snacks, coffee and bike mechanic services. For more information about additional Bike To Work Week commuter stations around the Lower Mainland, go to www.bikehub.ca.